Vegas Rich Speaks Out: News and Notes

Richard Marsh@RichardMarshSenior Analyst IFebruary 8, 2010

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 07:  Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints reacts after being sacked by Dwight Freeney #93 of the Indianapolis Colts during Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Wow, what a great sports weekend topped off with a Super Bowl that lived up to its expectations and produced a champion that represents more than a football team's victory.

Nothing attracts more passion and compassion than an underdog. In this case, the underdog was not the New Orleans Saints football team; remember they were the No. 1 seed from the NFC. It was the entire Gulf Coast of the United States. Not since 9/11 has there been as devastating an event as Hurricane Katrina and the initial abysmal effort by the United States Government to come to the aid of the area.

Eighty-five percent of the city of New Orleans was underwater. Imagine New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles in that circumstance. The loss of life would be in the millions. In an ironic state of the times we live in, it can be said that Haiti actually benefited by the disaster of Katrina. The outpouring of support and immediate worldwide help can certainly be attributed to the guilt that was produced in this country by our actions back then.

During the game, as the Indianapolis Colts jumped out to an early 10-0 first quarter lead, I thought that this was the night that Peyton Manning would be crowned the greatest quarterback of all time. That very well might be debated in the future if he wins a couple more Super Bowls, but not this night.

In speaking to family and friends, they thought the Colts would win, but they were rooting for the Saints with all their hearts.

Let's face it; once your team has been eliminated in postseason play, your desire to be involved in the big game is hopefully to get invited to a good party with plenty of food and drink and decide which commercials were the best.

Yesterday was different. It won't surprise me if this was not the most watched Super Bowl of all time. Although the teams were very equal in talent, it seemed like I was watching Rocky taking on Apollo Creed all over again.

With my allegiance to the New York Jets, I rarely root for the NFC representative in the Super Bowl. When I do make the switch, as I have in the last two years, I cover it by showing my 1-A team, the Philadelphia Eagles.

When Peyton threw that fourth quarter interception, the noise level in my home could have broken glass.

I have traveled and lived in many wonderful places in this country. One place I have not been to, however, is New Orleans. I have now officially added it to my "Bucket List" of places I must see in this lifetime. Now that the country has New Orleans in the forefront of their thoughts, perhaps we as a country can finish the job of revitalizing this area.

On the local front, the game between the UNLV Runnin' Rebels and its archrival, the 12th ranked BYU Cougars, was the most exciting college basketball game I have ever attended in the 40-plus years of loving this sport.

There is nothing like being part of a full house and watching your favorite team literally blowing out the opponent in such a dominating first half performance. UNLV has an excellent opportunity to do some serious damage in this year's NCAA Tournament. For those who don't know, this is the 20th anniversary of UNLV Championship seasons under the legendary coach "Tark The Shark" Tarkanian, a truly beloved figure in this star-studded town.

Trust me, March Madness takes on a life of its own here in Vegas. The sports books are packed and the action is non-stop. For what it's worth, I have been picking winners in this tournament for the last 30 years, and my 78 percent success rate of picking winners is not too shabby at all.

More on that in the near future.

Finally, it's less than 10 days before pitchers and catchers report to Florida and Arizona. Hopes for a great comeback year for my New York Mets weigh heavily on my mind. Follow the Mets all season long on my Mets Blog at

Belated congrats to Roger Federer and Serena Williams for their victories in the Australian Open.

Tiger Woods sighting leaving a sex addiction clinic in Georgia has him reappearing on the tour in time to ready himself for the Masters.

Many golfers have suggested that Tiger will speak out about his problem upon his return. I wholeheartedly reject this notion, as frankly, he owes nothing to these players. In fact, they could never pay Tiger back for what he has done to make them able to achieve the purses and winning dollars that are now available on the PGA Tour.

In closing, this week made me very satisfied with this past football season. My teams, the Jets and the Eagles, both made the playoffs, and that was good enough for me.

Have a great week.

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